The Benefits of Peer-Supervision for counsellors
Healing Space and StrongStone Haven
When thinking of supervision, our PHS supervisors (Dina and Bernadette) love to look at it as a space to learn, grow and help their supervisees grow. They turn Supervision into a time of mutual growth. Supervision groups are founded on the idea of a continuous learning cycle where they discuss, reflect and improve (Gordon, 2022). Discussions allow for professionals to receive constructive feedback and insights into their own strengths, weaknesses, and blind spots. This enables individuals to develop a deeper understanding of their professional identity and areas for growth.While we insist that our counsellors have their own supervisor, we also love to support them in their peer-supervision needs.
A key aspect of peer-supervision is the use of reflective questioning techniques. Participants can ask probing questions that encourage deeper reflection, exploration of assumptions, and consideration of alternative perspectives (Cross, 2011). Thereby leading individuals to gain insights into their own practice, uncover underlying issues, and generate new ideas or strategies for improvement.
The idea of a continuous learning cycle is taken further as most, if not all, professional organisations allow for peer-supervision in their continuous professional development (CPD) hours.by providing a structured and supportive environment for professionals to engage in reflective practice, it matches with a core component of CPD. By regularly participating in peer-supervision, individuals can stay up to date with current practices and research in their field.
Adding onto this idea of development one could say that the networking and collaboration done within peer-supervision allows for more professional and educational opportunities within their fields of interests (Basa, 2019). The exchange of resources, relationship building and problem-solving ensures that individual have a stronger connection to a diverse network (Valentino, LeBlanc, & Sellers, 2016). PHS is founded on the idea of connection and supporting peer-supervision for all the counsellors we have allowed into our ranks.
The knowledge that they will be sharing their progress with peers can motivate individuals to strive for more, while taking ownership of their growth. It does so by creating space for individuals to hold each other accountable while being emotionally supportive to one another (Basa, 2019). When peers set goals, share progress, and hold each other responsible, it increases motivation and commitment to professional growth.
The work being done is often emotionally challenging and frustrating. Our PHS management team understands this all too well with work that they do. This space allows professionals to celebrate success, discuss frustrations and receive validation. Peers can relate to the challenges faced in their respective fields, at their respective levels within the field (Basa, 2019). This emotional support helps reduce stress, enhance resilience, and improve overall well-being (Basa, 2019). Our founders themselves commit to one-one Peer supervision with each other on a regular basis.
Benefits can extend beyond formalized groups and evolve into peer learning communities. These communities often involve professionals from similar or different fields who come together to share knowledge, discuss professional challenges, and engage in collaborative learning (Basa, 2019). Peer learning communities often leverage technology platforms, such as online forums or video conferencing, to facilitate communication and connection among members.
Building on this is the idea that in today’s world groups can transcend geographical boundaries, allowing professionals from different countries and cultures to connect and learn from one another (Valentino, LeBlanc, & Sellers, 2016). Online platforms and virtual meetings make it possible for professionals worldwide to engage in peer supervision, offering diverse perspectives and expanding cross-cultural understanding. This global exchange of ideas and experiences enriches the learning process and promotes a broader worldview.
Basa, V. (2019). Peer supervision in the therapeutic field. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF COUNSELLING THEORY, RESEARCH AND PRACTICE, 3.
Cross, A. (2011). Self- and Peer-Assessment: the case of Peer Supervision in Counselling Psychology. Investigations in university teaching and learning, 7, 73-81. Retrieved from https://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/301
Gordon, S. (2022). Integrating the Experiential Learning Cycle with Educational Integrating the Experiential Learning Cycle with Educational Supervision Supervision. Journal of Educational Supervision Journal of Educational Supervision, 5(3).
Valentino, A. L., LeBlanc, L. A., & Sellers, a. T. (2016). The Benefits of Group Supervision and a Recommended Structure for Implementation. Behavior Analysis in Practice , 320-328.